The Town Hall in Dundalk is about to become as colourful as Jay Gatsby’s mansion on Long Island, that colossal imitation of some hotel de ville in Normandy, created by F Scott Fitzgerald in his 1925 novel.
Gatsby threw colourful parties at his mansion and in his blue gardens men and women came and went like moths among the whisperings and the champagne and the stars.
He wore a pink rag of a suit when he greeted his guests and even though the cathaoirleach of the town council might not go quite as far, he is going to get the placed jazzed up a bit before the council hits the ash heaps in May.
Cllr Eamonn O’Boyle’s colourful idea is that the Town Hall will be floodlit pink for Breast Cancer Awareness Week, green for St Patrick’s Day, yellow for Daffodil Day, and so on.
The pink would also come in useful for Giro d’Italia.
This imaginative motion - who says politicians don’t have imaginations - got the full support of councillors and officials at last week’s monthly meeting. Even the county manager thought it a grand idea.
When she leaves her post, she’ll be able to look across Dublin bay and see the lights glittering over the water from Dundalk, a reminder of her beautiful days in that place she once was.
A total of €13 million was spent refurbishing the Town Hall in the days when we had as much money as Jay Gatsby.
So Cllr O’Boyle is to be commended. Why not make the most of it. As the evening light grows dimmer and the earth lurches away from the sun, let’s brighten our hearts by brightening our town and give ourselves a break.
If it works, other public buildings might also be lit for special occasions, Cllr O’Boyle has suggested.
And he has rightly pointed out that this has worked well in other towns.
And it always looks well, and reflects wellon a town and its citizens.
And we won’t forget Christmas time, when the Town Hall will be looking cheerful as Christmas itself in the frosty dark and the shadows of holly wreaths will be thrown by lighted windows onto the snow.
So let’s go with it. Or as Gatsby might say: it’s a great idea, old sport.